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Beats' picks: Will Duke football pull off the road upset against Virginia Tech?

<p>The Blue Devils will take on Virginia Tech in a hostile environment Friday.</p>

The Blue Devils will take on Virginia Tech in a hostile environment Friday.

Prior to each Duke football game, The Chronicle’s Evan Kolin, Ramona Naseri, Derek Saul, Shane Smith and Dilan Trivedi make their predictions for the contest and we’ll track their records throughout the season. Here are their takes on the Blue Devils’ matchup with Virginia Tech Friday:

Evan Kolin: Duke 24-21

After three blowouts to begin the year, the Blue Devils’ trip to Blacksburg, Va., should finally give an idea of what this team is really made of. And in the end, Quentin Harris’ arm will continue to impress, the defense will amend its mistakes from last year’s battle against Virginia Tech and Duke will return home with its first win against the Hokies since 2015.

Ramona Naseri: Duke 28-21

The growing chemistry over the last few weeks between Quentin Harris and Duke’s young receivers proves that the offense has what it takes to compete with Virginia Tech. The Hokies barely beat Furman last weekend, and the Blue Devils will put up a harder fight against them in this matchup.

Derek Saul: Duke 27-20

I'll stick with my prediction from last week. With a grueling slate coming up, a win against a slumping Hokie squad may be necessary just for Duke to secure bowl eligibility, let alone compete in the Coastal division. Virginia Tech's offense has looked sluggish thus far and the Blue Devils need to keep it that way to silence a rowdy crowd.

Shane Smith: Virginia Tech 31-24

With an electric crowd on hand at Lane Stadium, the young Blue Devils will have a tough task dealing with the crowd. Ultimately, Ryan Willis will find his former success against Duke and halt its two-game win streak.

Dilan Trivedi: Duke 27-23

Last year, the Blue Devils entered the Virginia Tech game with all the momentum and a national ranking, while the Hokies were reeling from injuries and an improbable upset to ODU. However, Virginia Tech and its well-represented crowd trounced Duke in Durham. The Blue Devils will repay the favor in Blacksburg tonight, with Quentin Harris continuing to emerge as a true dual-threat quarterbcack while the defensive line limits Ryan Willis and the Hokie Offense.

Overall results:

Evan Kolin: 3-0

Ramona Naseri: 3-0

Derek Saul: 3-0

Shane Smith: 3-0

Dilan Trivedi: 3-0

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